The Dell Inspiron E1505 and its weird memory message

I added some memory to a Dell Inspiron E1505., an aging but serviceable Core 2 Duo-based laptop. And it greeted me with this:

THE AMOUNT OF SYSTEM MEMORY HAS CHANGED .

IF YOU DID NOT CHANGE MEMORY
TO RESOLVE ISSUE RESEAT MEMORY..

And then it appeared to freeze. The problem is, I did change the memory! And it was Kingston memory, straight out of another working machine, so I knew it was good stuff.

To fix the issue, wait a while, and after what seems like an eternity, it will beep at you and give you the option to continue or to run setup.

The pause confused me. I’ve never seen any other make of computer give a poorly worded message like that and seem to just sit there. Some will tell you on boot that the amount of memory has changed, and some even go into Setup for you, but I’ve never seen any other type of computer make you sit there and wait.

So the answer is simple, though not obvious. Just hurry up and wait. When given my options, I just went into setup, verified the amount of memory, then exited setup and let the computer boot. On subsequent boots, it booted normally.

I get scolded every time I say something implying that I don’t like Dell, but it’s things like this that make people used to working on other makes of machines not like working on Dells.

But every time I do, I find some other weird quirk. Like this one. Or this one. Or maybe this one. Or I find that their tech support site tells you nothing.

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